CotEcast is a new regular podcast for all clinicians looking after older patients. We launched our first episode this week, discussing our top tips for newly qualified doctors. If you haven’t listened to it yet, please give it a go and let us know what you think. We’re learning as we go along, but our aim is to provide interesting and entertaining discussion related to Geriatric and General medicine that will be relevant to a wide audience of healthcare providers.

In next month’s episode, we will be discussing the role of the Medical Registrar. When we ran the first ‘Geriatrics for Juniors‘ (G4J) conference in 2013, we held a Q&A session called “Being the Med Reg – it’s not that bad”. The session gave the audience (predominantly Foundation and CMT doctors) the chance to ask a panel of local registrars about their experiences of the role, and engage in honest and open discussion about the nature of the role. The session was so popular that we are repeating it at G4J 2014.

In a survey of G4J delegates, when asked what might put junior doctors off applying for specialty training in Geriatric Medicine, the prospect of being the Medical Registrar was the reason most commonly given. This corresponds with data published by the Royal College of Physicians, which shows the role is a potential deterrent to a career in any hospital specialty which involved general medical on-calls.

Aside from wanting to motivate junior colleagues to consider Geriatric Medicine as a career, a drop in the number of applicants to general medical specialties would have wider implications for workforce planning and the running of acute admission units throughout the NHS.

Work is ongoing at a national level to try and address this issue, but any changes to training pathways or service delivery will inevitably take time to happen. In the meantime, we want to try and tackle this at a grassroots level by challenging some of the negative perceptions of the role and suggesting ways for junior and senior doctors to make the ‘Med Reg’ role less daunting. We think that CotEcast will give us a forum to do this.

Over the next few weeks, we’re asking our listeners and Twitter followers to let us know their thoughts, either by using the hashtag #medregfears, or by contacting us at We will structure our discussion to cover as many of these points as possible, and hopefully come up with something productive!

The episode will be available to download in September. To be amongst the first to hear it, why not subscribe to CotEcast in iTunes? We promise you won’t regret it!

Image: gruntzooki via photopin cc


Coming up on CotEcast: #medregfears
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